We are Affected by Noises Whether We Want to or Not
Sound. One of the five senses. Hearing, as a concept, has no switch to turn it on and off, and due to that, we experience its impacts on our lives continuously, regardless of our notice.
Have you ever accidentally woken up early just to stumble upon birds chirping, fallen asleep to the chattering of the TV, or turned on your favorite playlist while doing a chore? The answer is yes. Because hearing is a constant in our lives, it holds a great significance, especially in terms of behavior and reactions.
One of the interesting types of noise has actually been circulating around for a while: white noise. Although you may have known about white noise as “that weird static sound”, white noise is a sound that masks other sounds. Interestingly, white noise in the background is said to be aiding children to fall asleep faster by blocking out other unwanted noises(3). Now, various phone applications and actual machines which are purely made to create white noise are advertised for people with sleeping issues or people who just want a peaceful mind before sleeping. However, it should also be kept in mind that high exposure to loud white noise creates a potential danger to ears if subjected for a long time.
Some noise can create serenity. It can lull you into sleep or ease your mind from the hustles of the day. However, sound can also be hazardous, just like a double-edged sword.
Noise can also be dangerous in the form of noise pollution: excess unwanted sound that affects the health of not only humans but other organisms as well(1)(2). Noise pollution starts to become detrimental as its loudness increases. Especially after crossing the threshold of 85 decibels, it starts to damage people’s ears. Yet, this is not uncommon to us, and most people are subjected to noise pollution on a daily basis, even more so in larger cities. Besides damaging hearing, noise pollution may also cause a variety of problems, ranging from stress to high blood pressure. While it might not have been a concern years ago, or has never been a problem for people residing in the countryside, most of today’s children are subjected to this noise pollution. Imagine a life in which you grow up with noise pollution your entire childhood. All the exposure to living near a noisy street or environment of such was found to cause complications in attention level, memory, and reading skills besides stress, which is a given(1).
Overall, hearing is a part of us that controls our perception of life. Thus, from birth throughout all our lives, we are impacted by noises and sounds, either consciously or unconsciously.
1– “Noise Pollution.” National Geographic Society, https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/noise-pollution.
2– “Noise Pollution.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., https://www.britannica.com/science/noise-pollution.
3– Cherney, Kristeen. “The Pros and Cons of Using White Noise to Put Babies to Sleep.”
Healthline, Healthline Media, 3 May 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/white-noise-for-babies#pros.